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The design and implementation of a proficiency test for assessors of fingermark quality, to facilitate collaborative practise in fingermark research

FIELDHOUSE, Sarah and GWINNETT, Claire (2016) The design and implementation of a proficiency test for assessors of fingermark quality, to facilitate collaborative practise in fingermark research. Science & Justice. ISSN 1355-0306

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Abstract or description

Significant numbers of institutions are carrying out fingermark based research, yet there appears to be little inter institution consistency in the approaches used to assess the quality of the samples produced. Inter-institution consistency in quality assessment would lead to inevitable benefits in collaborating research projects, given that data from multiple projects may be combined, or compared. In order for such quality assessment schemes to be effectively used across multiple institutions, proficiency in using such approaches should be identified to ensure parity. Intra-institution controls on fingermark quality assessment are likely to help manage variations between researchers from the same institution and/or project(s). Proficiency testing (PT) is a popular means of comparing and monitoring the competency of individuals, whilst also assessing the validity of data and conclusions. This project aimed to develop a proficiency testing scheme for the assessment of fingermark quality for researchers. A grading system was developed to assess the quality of fingermarks generated within research projects. A large collection of test fingermark samples was created controlling variables such as force, fingermark composition and surface type. An ‘inter-laboratory testing scheme’ design was used for the proficiency test and established fingermark researchers participated in the project to produce known values for 6 chosen test samples for round one of the testing scheme, described in this paper. Second year BSc (Hons) Forensic Science and Forensic Investigation student participants from the host institution completed the proficiency test as part of a fingermark practical. Results indicated that student participants involved in this project were not able to demonstrate a satisfactory level of proficiency of fingermark quality assessment using this grading system, which was attributed to their relative experience in assessing the quality of fingermarks compared to ‘experts’ in fingermark analysis. Results have highlighted considerations for future grading systems, and additional training requirements
of users.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences > Sciences
Depositing User: Claire GWINNETT
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2016 11:36
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:43

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